Natural Shea Butter Sunscreen

Make your Own Shea Butter Sunscreen in your crockpot!

Written by Kelly, Contributing Writer

Hi, Everyone! I am so very excited to be visiting with you at Day2Day Joys today! Thank you, Rachel!! 

My name is Kelly and I blog over at Eyes on the Source.

Today, I wanted to share with you something relatively new to our family, but I am sure many of you have heard of or tried this product, already. We started using Shea Butter several months ago as yet another experiment to bring healing to my son’s eczema and psoriasis.

I had heard of its super moisturizing qualities, but was uncertain of how it would react to his skin as he has a slight nut allergy. Shea butter is made from Shea (or Karite) tree nuts and I usually shy away from anything in the nut family for that reason.

Shea Butter is rich in vitamins A and E and fatty acids which helps the skin to retain elasticity, it also has antibacterial properties to speed healing. It encourages circulation and cellular restoration; it is rich in moisturizing nutrients the list goes on and on… So, hesitantly, we tried Shea Butter and it has worked wonders on my son’s skin!

And it turns out that Shea Butter has innumerable uses! Shea Butter has quickly become my family’s “go-to” remedy!

Here is a quick list of uses:
  • Calm and heal eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis break outs
  • Speed healing of sunburn and prevent peeling
  • Stops itching from insect bites (also, antibacterial to protect from infection)
  • Soften dry, cracked skin on heels and elbows
  • Soothe and speed healing of cuts, scrapes and burns
  • Soften cuticles
  • Prevent and provide relief from diaper rash
  • Fade stretch marks, skin blemishes and wrinkles
  • Protects from windburn, razor burn and chapped skin
  • Reduces joint pain and swelling
  • Deep conditioning hair treatment and prevents dandruff when used on the scalp
  • Natural sun protection of 4-5 SPF (from Vitamins E and F)

When I discovered the natural sun protection of Shea Butter, I couldn’t resist the idea of making my own sunscreen. My son’s skin is very irritated by regular over-the-counter sunscreen products and if you have done any research on sunscreen, you know that the chemicals on your skin are just as bad, if not worse, than getting sunburned. (check out the chemicals in any skin product here)

So, here is a simple recipe for Shea Butter Sunscreen! 

The only difficult part of this recipe might be finding the ingredients! I had to order the Zinc Oxide online, but the rest of the ingredients I found at Walmart and the local health food store.
Make Your Own Shea Butter Sunscreen

Shea Butter Sunscreen!

What you need:

  • 1 C 100% pure Shea Butter
  • 1/2 C Coconut Oil
  • 4 ounces Beeswax (less if you want thinner lotion, but this if for water resistance)
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 2 t or more Liquid Vitamin E
  • 3 T Zinc Oxide Powder

What to do:

Combine all ingredients except the Zinc Oxide in crockpot. I highly recommend a crockpot liner for easy clean-up! Heat on high until all ingredients are completely melted. Will be a clear golden color. Then slowly, whisk in the three tablespoons of Zinc Oxide. Carefully, pour into Mason Jars or other heat safe containers and let sit uncovered until cooled. The SPF on this recipe is about 30, but adding more Zinc Oxide will make it higher.

**If you want to make a liquid sunscreen, try this natural homemade sunscreen oil recipe. 

Make All-Natural Shea Butter Sunscreen in your crockpot!

I am blessed to be with you all today! I’d love for you to connect with me on Facebook! Until next time~ Kelly@Eyes on the Source

What kind of sunscreen do you use? Have you ever made your own?

About Kelly

Kelly is a busy mom homeschooling three boys with her husband. She is always hunting for ways to simplify life and make more quality time for family. She enjoys crafting and researching natural health remedies. She blogs at on all things Home, Health and Kids. For daily inspiration, follow her on Facebook.


  1. I adore Shea Butter and have a wonderful Evan Healy brand facial butter that has pure shea in it. But I never realized that it can be used to create an all-natural sunscreen. How wonderful! Thank you SO much for sharing! Blessings, Kelly

    • Thanks, Kelly! So you know…you can actually add Zinc Oxide to your favorite lotion and make it a sunscreen! Maybe that could work for the Evan Healy Brand you like! I haven’t heard of that brand, but will check it out now! Thanks! ~Kelly

    • wouldn’t shea butter give u a tan ?

  2. I’m excited to try this! We make our own lotion with shea butter and coconut oil, and it’s great!

  3. I am not sure why I can not pin this. Any help or ideas? Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Looks good! Haven’t tried making my own sunscreen yet. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Is the sunscreen super oily? I know shea butter and coconut oil are both pretty oily on their own, so is this recipe very oily or does your skin absorb it fairly well?

    • Kristin~ It goes on smooth and clear and is very water resistant. I wouldn’t say it is too much more oily than store bought sunscreen. Hope that helps? Thanks~Kelly

    • I was just going to ask if it is water resistant 🙂 My son is a swimmer and I’ve been looking for an alternative to regular sunscreen for him this year because he’ll need it almost every day- I’ll have to give this a try!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve made a lotion based sunscreen with zinc oxide, and it works well, except has to be reapplied VERY frequently when in the water. Any ideas as to how to make it more water-proof?

    • The beeswax is what really helps it to be water resistant, so when you make your own in the crockpot you can add as much beeswax as you want. Keep in mind though, that the more beeswax you add, the more solid the sunscreen will be. Thanks~Kelly

  7. Anonymous says:

    Do not heat the vitamin E, add it last or you risk destroying the vitamin E completely.

  8. Will this work in the water? How often should it be reapplied when in or out of the water? I hope to try this! It looks great! 🙂

    • I have 3 fair skinned boys and we live in Florida, so I usually put it on every couple of hours if we are in direct sun. Beeswax helps it to be water resistant as well. Thanks~Kelly

  9. One use you did not include is that it is used as a cooking oil when freshly harvested. I certainly wouldn’t try it with what you can find here in the stores, but with fresh shea butter, it is good.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I would love to make my own sunscreen and avoid all the nasty chemicals, and the cost of the safe sunscreens. EWG states that while UVA rays are as dangerous as UVB rays (or more), the UVA rays don’t cause the sunburn. That makes me wonder – with a homemade sunscreen, how can we know that we are protecting against the UVA rays? Thank you!

  11. What is the yield in oz for this recipe

  12. Anonymous says:

    I love this recipe! I am curious, how much do you think it cost you to make this one? How long does it last for your family? Thank you so much for sharing this 🙂

    • A little goes a long way, so I haven’t finished the first batch I made…so not sure how long it will last. For sure longer than store brands, especially the spray types. I am “guesstimating” here…Shea Butter $5, Coconut Oil $1, Zinc Oxide $2 (or less), Beeswax $3, Vitamin E $1. Hard to say exact because I didn’t use the entire container of any of the items. So probably one batch was about $12-15? And it will last longer that store-bought. I feel like it is a good deal and for sure it is safer! Thanks~Kelly

  13. Anonymous says:

    In what form do you use shea butter for your son’s eczema/psoriasis?

    • I use raw Shea Butter…or another recipe I love with Shea Butter, Oatmeal, Olive Oil and Honey. Sounds good enough to eat doesn’t it? 🙂 That and Aquaphor make such a difference. Thanks~Kelly

  14. did you say this is an SPF of 5? Anyway to make it stronger?

    • This recipe is an SPF of 30, but can be increased with the amount of Zinc Oxide added. It’s about 10 SPF per tablespoon… Thanks~Kelly

      • I’d like to know if I can replace the Olive Oil for Jojoba oil instead?

        Also, if I can use stove top pan with boiling water (very gentle) using Pirex glass measuring cup instead of crockpot, I do not own one….. I do make my own Lip Balms with beeswax and use this method for melting ingredients and works like a charm!

        Please let me know if this is possible and would I still get the same effectiveness in sun protection.

  15. Anonymous says:

    BlessedWithOne, she mentioned in the post that it has an SPF of 30 🙂

  16. I think baby oniment is zinc.. some use that I think..

    OR this recipe could be used for baby’s bums so you know exactly whats in it :-0

  17. Wow! How awesome, thanks for sharing!

  18. Anonymous says:

    does this have any scent? has anyone added scent?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I do not like the smell of the shea butter. Can you add scented oil?

  20. This is perfect! I’m always looking for more natural ways of doing things. I can’t wait to try this.

  21. where do you get the zinc oxide?

  22. Does this contain olive oil?


  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Shea Natural brings to you Shea Shea, african shea butter, butter for skin, shea moisture, shea butter for hair, body butter, shea butter, sheabutter, shea oil, pure shea butter, shea butter wholesale, etc.

  25. Common Africans then started using Shea butter to protect their skin and hair from the massive sun and coarse winds African deserts. Shea butter was also used as a healing remedy for circumcision, an insect repellent, and as an antiperspirant.

    During Pregnancy, African women rub their stomachs with Shea butter to prevent stretch marks; during birth women would squat over a tub of warm water and Shea oil to reduce to pain of child birth; after birth, babies are massaged head to toe with Shea butter, for healthy, glowing skin.

    For more information about Shea Naturals please follow the url

  26. Coconut oil irritates my incredibly sensitive skin – do you have any recommendations for an alternative product??

  27. I began using Shea Butter at about week 10 of my pregnancy, and applied it every other day or so to my belly, hips, and breasts. I use the Lady Soma brand Stretch Mark Treatment (Called Somatique) and I apply it every night and after showers.

    About a week and a half after using Lady Soma’s Stretch Mark Treatment, the two little stretch marks on each hip are fading away (no longer reddish/purple) with no signs of scarring!! The slight marks on my breasts also seem to be less noticeable. Genetics are of course the biggest factor in stretch marks, but the healing I’ve noticed to the areas that started getting marks after applying the Lady Soma lotion is pretty remarkable in my opinion. Here is the link if you are interested:

  28. Do I add a 1/2 cup of olive oil AND the Beeswax?
    Do I add a 1/2 cup of olive oil OR the Beeswax?

  29. Kelly,
    Can you please tell me if I can add Zinc Oxide to my homemade lotion? I make a mix of coconut oil and shea butter. I use this mix from head-to-toe, including my face and eye area. I’m wondering if this is possible as I’d love to use this as a sunscreen without the beeswax for daily use.
    Thank you!

  30. Dena Jensen says:

    Wondering if you had played around with using a “spray” version of this? The recipe sounds fantastic. Turning over a new leaf in our home with healthier alternatives and less chemicals. Appreciate the advice and input!! D.

  31. Could you please tell me the Shelf Life of this recipe??

  32. I made a similar sunscreen for my vacation, but didn’t have the zinc oxide. I added carrot seed, lavender, and myrrh essential oils, and used red raspberry seed oil instead of olive oil, because it has it’s own SPF of approximately 40. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked, and it was so nice to know that I was helping my skin instead of damaging it!

  33. REGINA T LAWSON says:


  34. Shea butter seems to have quite a lot of benefits and this sunscreen recipe looks extremely easy. I myself am also sensitive to commercial sunscreen products and this recipe is therefore perfect for me. Can I use this sunscreen on both face and body and is this recipe also toddler friendly?

  35. Brilynn says:

    How does the measurement of zinc oxide change to decrease or increase the spf amount?

  36. Denise d'Entremont says:

    Can you wear this under make-up?

  37. I just made this sunscreen.. I can’t get the zinc oxide powder to dissolve… it just falls to the bottom of the pot… What should I do?!

    If it doesn’t disolve doesn’t that defeat the purpose of making it SPF? Because it will all be at the bottom of the jar when I pour it..

    Let me know.

  38. Hi! I made this today. It’s room temperature now, but still in liquid form and the zinc oxide is on the bottom. Any suggestions to what I can do to thicken it?? 🙁 Thank you!

  39. I made something similar. Three TBS of zinc oxide for about 1 cup of oils. My daughter and I both burnt quite badly. I would not consider us fair skinned, so I don’t know what happened. I would say at the most it provided us with an SPF of 10-15.

  40. Lin Forsyth says:

    I am very keen to try making this. May I ask one question – Can I substitute Vit E with Vit C? TIA

  41. Hi!

    I found your recipe for the sunscreen and would like to make it. I was wondering whether I could use a pot instead of the crock pot. ?


  42. Michelle says:

    Kelly, Can Jojoba Oil instead of olive and how do you get the zinc to mix with the rest of the ingredients?


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